HOUSTON - A Houston single mom was in for a surprise when a local non-profit gave her a car on The Kelly Clarkson Show. If you watched “Kelly” on Fox 26 you know our own Damali Keith helped in the big reveal that gifted a free car to someone very deserving.
"It drives really good,” Olinda Cardenas says with a smile behind the wheel of her new car, which isn’t just a car for Olinda. She calls it her big blessing on four wheels.
"Some days I just sit and cry in my car but it’s tears of joy,” Cardenas explains.
The single mother recently appeared on Fox 26’s Kelly Clarkson Show to talk about the importance of Houston’s own God’s Garage.
“We take donated cars. We repair them and we give them away to single moms, widows, and families of military. We also provide free repairs for the same demographic,” explains Ted Wyrick with God’s Garage. As Olinda praised the non-profit she talked about losing everything in a fire in 2015, being homeless, then suffering the same fate after Hurricane Harvey. She's been without a car for more than two years, until the day of the show. "Guess what Olinda? They have a surprise for you,” I said with excitement as I helped surprise the college student with a car from God’s Garage.
"It’s kind of surreal because you don’t think things like this happen to normal people,” smiles Olinda.
"I hope I'm giving them a blessing. Giving them a step up from where they currently are. Being without a vehicle can put you in a downward spiral,” adds Wyrick.
During the God’s Garage on Kelly watch party, we caught up with Monica Nash who's been walking or catching the bus to work. "I’m a single mother. I work two full-time jobs and go to school,” Nash said.
God's Garage had a give for Nash too!
“We have a car for you!” one woman yelled as the crowd applauded and Nash grabbed her mouth in shock.
"I can’t believe it. I never had anybody to give me anything. I work hard for everything I get. For someone to do this for me. I’m very grateful,” says Nash.
Alshanon Perkins was also given a car by God’s Garage at a Gallery Furniture Watch Party with Mattress Mack, who was also featured on the Kelly Show.
The ladies call God’s Garage heaven-sent angels. “The foundation and the name really represent who they are as people,” says Cardenas.
Along with the car, the organization gives the ladies life skills classes.
God’s Garage has four employees and runs mostly on volunteers. They had 125 volunteers last year. The group is always accepting applications if you need a car or are in need of car repairs. They will happily accept a donation and more volunteers at any time.
God’s Garage fixed 105 cars for free last year and gave away another 133 vehicles.